With this regular feature, the Banner runs down breaking local and regional developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
The statistics supplied by the Vermont Department of Health at midday each day are accurate as of the end of the previous day. The information is preliminary and subject to change.
One Vermonter died of COVID-19 over the past day, the health department reported Saturday. The death toll is now 63. It was the fourth consecutive day that the state reported a COVID-related death.
The health department reported 88 new positive tests over the past day for the virus that causes COVID-19. The state’s cumulative total was reported as 3,546, which is 87 higher than the number reported Friday. The department did not explain the discrepancy.
Twelve of Vermont’s 14 counties reported at least one new case. Washington County had 16 new cases; Chittenden and Orleans counties each had 12; Bennington County had eight; Orange, Rutland and Windsor counties each had six; Caledonia, Franklin and Lamoille counties each had five; Addison and Windham counties each had four; and Essex County had one.
Among Vermont counties, Bennington has the fourth-highest rate of COVID-19, at 52.8 cases per 10,000 residents, and Windham County is seventh, at 45.1. Washington County is first, at 89.3 cases per 10,000.
Seventeen Vermonters are currently hospitalized with the disease; two of those patients are in intensive care units.
So far, 210,293 people have been tested.
The number of Vermonters reported to have recovered from COVID-19 rose by 41, to 2,246.
The health department reported that 289 people were being monitored for the disease as of Saturday, a decrease of 90 from Friday. Of these, 181 are visitors to Vermont.
VERMONT INCREASES TESTING CAPACITY
Vermont is increasing its contract tracing staff and testing capacity as it continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases.
Officials said this week that the state’s contact tracing staff of about 40 will add about 20 more from the state National Guard and 10 more from the state Department of Public Safety over the next two weeks.
Gov. Phil Scott said testing locations will also ramp up to seven days a week and most residents will soon be about a 30-minute drive from a site.
The state hopes to have the capacity to test 30,000 Vermonters a week, added Human Services Secretary Mike Smith.
Vermont's seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from about 24 on Nov. 6 to 102 on Nov. 20, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The state's seven-day rolling average of the positivity rate has also risen over the past two weeks from 0.66 percent on Nov. 6 to 1.97 percent on Nov. 20.